Review: Lucky in Love

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Summary:

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Thoughts:

Look, guys. Kasie West is an instant-buy for me…easily. Her books are always adorable and this isn’t any different.

I was worried going into this that it was going to be exactly like Jennifer E Smith’s Windfall, but they were different enough for me. Still both about teens winning the lottery, but different.

I will say that I didn’t like Maddie, but I think I didn’t like her because she was frustrating. Then again, I guess she was acting like anyone else who won the lottery would act, so I don’t judge this very harshly.

But…Seth. Seth is precious and just the type of male lead I like to see in a Kasie West book!

Overall, if you’re looking for a quick, fun contemporary book, then look no further!

Huge thanks to Scholastic for the review copy that was sent to me!

 

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi (aka cutest contemporary in ages!)

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Summary:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


My Thoughts:

This. Book.

This might be the CUTEST contemporary I’ve read in awhile! I was grinning so much over how fun it was!

First of all, I was ecstatic that my Secret Sister through the OTSPsecretsister project sent me this book because I’d been looking forward to it. (If you’re reading this then THANK YOU again!) That package actually arrived right before I was about to leave for the beach in June and I thought, “you know what. I have lots to read for school, but I’m going to take this and read fun stuff this weekend!” I actually read another book first and then started this, but both were amazing beach reads!

I never could have imagined a book like this, but I’m so glad that I found it. This is a book that, while it might look lengthy to some, will end up being a quick read because of how adorably captivating the story is. I do not know of another young adult book that discusses arranged marriages, but this provides any interesting look at Indian culture that is rare in books. While this is a fun, light contemporary romance, it also does a great job of providing representation to several groups, both culturally and through personalities and interests displayed in the characters.

I can’t wait to read more from Sandhya in the future after enjoying this one so much!

-M

 

By Your Side- a dream in theory…

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Summary:

An irresistible story from Kasie West that explores the timeless question What do you do when you fall for the person you least expect?

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn at first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

My Thoughts:

PS I Like You was my first Kasie West book early last year as an ARC. I immediately fell in love with that book and was ready to read my next book from her. I have her back list, but then I heard about this one and got an ARC.

First things first…the concept of getting locked in a library. SIGN. ME. UP.

That idea sounded perfect to me from the beginning, but I immediately felt bad for Autumn because where were her friends? Why didn’t anyone come for her? (Spoiler: We learn that later.) I think I maybe even spent too much time wondering where the heck her friends were and why they didn’t come back for her.

I do think I enjoyed the library parts more than the middle of the book just because some of the middle was lots of back and forth and got frustrating at times.

I will admit, that there were parts that dragged for me, but for the most part, I zoomed through the book. There was lots of back and forth with Dax, yet it also was understandable for his character and situation.

Overall, this is still a classic Kasie West book. It isn’t my favorite, but it is still a cute, fast read if you’re looking for a contemporary romance. By Your Side releases next week, January 31, so be sure to pick it up if this is what you’re looking for!

-M

A Hilarious Shapeshifter adventure…

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Book Info:

The New York Times bestselling graphic novel sensation from Noelle Stevenson, based on her beloved and critically acclaimed web comic. Kirkus says, “If you’re going to read one graphic novel this year, make it this one.”

Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike as the arrival of a “superstar” talent (NPR.org).

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.


My Thoughts:

I’d already heard tons of great things about Nimona, but I was still pleasantly surprised about it.

Nimona was a hilarious character, but one with a huge heart. I found that she actually reminded me of a student at work. In fact, that student read the book after me and said, “oh my goodness, this is me!” She was right though 🙂

Nimona is a quick read and a great choice for someone looking for a graphic novel. It’s especially a strong choice for someone looking specifically for a female protagonist.

I can’t help but hope that there might be more stories about Nimona in the future because she was such a wonderful character. I’m picky about graphic novels as far as recommendations go because I know that  people like certain things, but I would easily suggest this to anyone.

-Melanie

 

That time Nicola Yoon became an insta-buy for me…

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My Thoughts:

For anyone who doesn’t know, an insta-buy is just what it seems like. For me, it’s an author that I’ve decided I love and will buy any book without needing to wait to hear how it is or even needing to know what the book is about.

I absolutely loved Everything, Everything last year. I’m excited for the movie next year and I’m hoping that they capture the magic of the book.

That said, I was greatly anticipating The Sun is Also a Star. I vaguely knew what it was about, but I didn’t search for much in the way of summaries and went into it quite blind.

I was not disappointed and I think it’s safe to say that Nicola Yoon is now an insta-buy author for me after knocking it out of the park with these first two books. Even further, I hope that this one also gets on the way to becoming a movie because I can  just imagine how perfect it will be.

It was interesting to see so many different aspects of the one day in the book- even from people who at the time didn’t seem to be that major. Another highlight was that I always enjoy alternating points of view in books. It seems to give books more depth and is just right to hold my attention span.

In closing, I can’t recommend either of Nicola’s books enough. Both blew me away and so important for showing DIVERSITY in YA literature. All readers need to be able to find themselves in some way and Nicola’s books have been an excellent example of holding diverse characters.

Go pick up one or both books today!

-Melanie

 

7 thoughts on A Week of Mondays…

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Summary:

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true… 

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

From the author 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and The Unremembered trilogy comes a hilarious and heartwarming story about second (and third and fourth and fifth) chances. Because sometimes it takes a whole week of Mondays to figure out what you really want.


 

  1. Don’t we all wish we could get a re-do and make Monday awesome from time to time? OF COURSE this bad day was on a Monday! I love Groundhog Day type stories that give do-overs.
  2. I really liked Ellie…granted, she SHOULD have followed her friend to book club ages ago, but I like her.
  3. The book is drags in spots. The first 3 or so Mondays before she finally catches on seem to be almost identical and got boring in spots. Granted, it wasn’t enough to give up, but it was enough to where I started hoping progress would be made.
  4. The last couple “days” moved fast and are where most of the development is. Those days ended up being my favorites for that reason.
  5. I loved Owen, but…I wish there’d been more to him. I knew what would happen with him from the get go, but I wish there’d been more development and getting to know him.
  6. I kind of found Tristan annoying. Not in a way that hurt the book, but in a way that made me hurt for Ellie because…girl, you could do better than this silly guy.
  7. The book is long. It over 450 pages and was way longer than I thought it needed to be, but it was good over all despite the length. It wasn’t too long that I lost interest, and  do still suggest it, but…it’s LONG. Maybe that’s just me and my short attention span though?

Overall? I liked it and definitely give it a try if you want something fun or if you like Groundhog Day type situations.

A Week of Mondays is out TODAY!

-Melanie

Get to Know “You Know Me Well”

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Summary:

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

A book told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour, the award-winning author of Hold Still and The Disenchantments, and David Levithan, the best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (with Rachel Cohn) and Will Grayson, Will Grayson (with John Green), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

My Thoughts:

Okay yes I’ve been MIA. I’ve been on vacation and the school year just ended…oops!

But…I’m back..hopefully full speed!

Either way, I’m here to talk You Know Me Well.

I’m a huge David Leviathan fan, so I was excited to be offered this book.

If you’ve read his former books, then you’ll definitely enjoy this one!

As for Nina Lacour, I hadn’t read any of her books prior to this one and now I want to read more!

You Know Me Well just released this Tuesday, so go pick it up ASAP!

I don’t want to say too much about it in fear of ruining it, but I loved it, so please go check it out!

-Melanie

Review: Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

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Summary:

Warm Hawaiian sun. Lazy beach days. Flirty texts with her boyfriend back in Seattle.

These are the things seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre pictured when she imagined the summer she’d be spending at her mom’s home in Hawaii with her twin brother, Penn. Instead, after learning an unthinkable secret about her boyfriend, Tyler, and best friend, Mick, all she has is a fractured hand and a completely shattered heart.

Once she arrives in Honolulu, though, Sloane hopes that Hawaii might just be the escape she needs. With beach bonfires, old friends, exotic food, and the wonders of a waterproof cast, there’s no reason Sloane shouldn’t enjoy her summer. And when she meets Finn McAllister, the handsome son of a hotel magnate who doesn’t always play by the rules, she knows he’s the perfect distraction from everything that’s so wrong back home.

But it turns out a measly ocean isn’t nearly enough to stop all the emails, texts, and voicemails from her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friend, desperate to explain away their betrayal. And as her casual connection with Finn grows deeper, Sloane’s carefree summer might not be as easy to come by as she’d hoped. Weighing years of history with Mick and Tyler against their deception, and the delicate possibility of new love, Sloane must decide when to forgive, and when to live for herself.


My Thoughts:

I got an arc of this from Netgalley and actually let it sit on my kindle for several months before I gave it a try and I hate that I let it sit for so long.

Summer of Sloane just released on Tuesday and I’m SO excited about this book!

Sloane was EXACTLY what I needed when I read it!

At the time, I was in a bit of a reading slump, but decided to give it a try and ended up flying through it.

It has the perfect atmosphere to get you in the summertime mood and is an excellent late spring read.

Sloane had tons of drama going on in her life, but she was determined to spend time on herself rather than wallow in what happened to her.

That is exactly the message that teens need!

I loved seeing how she responded to different instances that happened and was always cheering her on.

Aside from Sloane and her main storyline, I even found myself wanting  more from the side characters and that isn’t something that happens often for me, but everyone had such interesting things going on.

If you’re in the mood for a fun, contemporary to get ready for Summer then Summer of Sloane is exactly what you need to pick up!

What summery reads are your go-to?

-Melanie

Monday Musings: The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow…

What is going on???

ALL OF THE BOOKS COME OUT TOMORROW!!!

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I have no idea what’s going on, but SO many books are releasing tomorrow and I’m so excited about it!

I wanted to highlight just a few even though I know the book world is going crazy about all of the new releases.

Without delay here are my top 4…

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The Selection series has been one of my favorite series for awhile. They have their flaws and I realize that they aren’t the best ever as far as quality, but they’re addicting and I love them. I honestly don’t know who Eadlyn will end up with. NO IDEA. But I’m excited to find out nonetheless!

I maybe pre-ordered The Crown back in SEPTEMBER and have discussed theories with kids at work for weeks…no shame  in my Selection addiction.

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Full disclosure- I still haven’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses and I’m STILL excited for this book. The cover looks AMAZING! I’m hoping to read both of these as soon as I’m out from work for the summer.

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I’d never read a Morgan Matson book before I started this and I hate that I haven’t. I’m not far into it, but look for a review on it next week!

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I have SO MUCH LOVE for Summer of Sloane!

This is the PERFECT contemporary read for Summer.

Be on the lookout for my review of it on Thursday!


What book are you excited for that releases tomorrow?

Maybe you’re ready for one that isn’t listed here…let me know!

-Melanie

Review: When We Collided

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Summary:

Seventeen year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he is not. With a mother lost in a deep bout of depression, Jonah and his five siblings struggle to keep up their home and the restaurant their dad left behind. But at the start of summer, a second change rolls in: Vivi Alexander, the new girl in town.

Vivi is in love with life. Charming and unfiltered, she refuses to be held down by the medicine she’s told should make her feel better. After meeting Jonah, she slides into the Daniels’ household seamlessly, winning over each sibling with her imagination and gameness. But it’s not long before Vivi’s zest for life begins to falter. Soon her adventurousness becomes all-out danger-seeking.

Through each high and low, Vivi and Jonah’s love is put to the test . . . but what happens when love simply isn’t enough?


My Thoughts:

First…WHEN WE COLLIDED RELEASES NEXT WEEK!!!!

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Phew…enough partying…on to business.

I adored When We Collided. I’m always wary when I’m REALLY excited for a book because I’m scared that it won’t be nearly as great as I’m hoping. That said, I was scared going into this one because I LOVE Emery Lord’s past two books.

So, I did what any sane person would do…I didn’t even read the summary going into it.

Seriously.

I’m not going to lie, I wish that I HAD read the summary just so that I might have been a tiny bit prepared for what was about to happen to my heart.

So many books try hard to talk about mental illness and just come up short no matter how hard they might try.

This book though…it honestly hits the nail right on the head.

Sometimes people have problems for no reason at all. Sometimes they can bounce back- sometimes not. People get told to “get over it and move on.” There are so many ways to look at mental illness correctly and incorrectly. This gets it 200% CORRECT. We see both sides with the struggle and with outsiders learning how to respond to those that they love and it is just…beautiful.

I hate to say it, but I can relate to the descriptions of depression in the book, so I know how accurate the descriptions of feeling “nothing” are despite having no problems that SHOULD make one feel that way.

This is just such an important book and I can’t wait until the fall so that I can immediately purchase it for my library. I know tons of kids will be able to relate to the characters aside from the areas surrounding mental illness. These characters are living REAL lives that teens will be able to connect with!

Do yourself a huge favor and get When We Collided when it releases next week!

-Melanie